Crown achievement of the 60s that managed to capture the look, the feel and the subject of its time - and it's fully aware that, instead of being preachy, one sentence can open neverending circle of interpretations. Iconic visuals and music selection along with characters that are set on the right frequency of emotion and natural humor turn this into bittersweet, never wanting to end joyride, trip and postcard.
The iconic film that changed Hollywood challenged the status quo and gave voice to a disaffected generation who realized the dream of the sixties had come to an end. Nearing fifty years old the film's themes and voice have barely faded. The film is enhanced by exceptional photography (Kovacs) and fine editing (Cambern and a barely acknowledged Henry Jaglom). Soundtrack is phenomenal throughout as is Nicholson.
A film that is comfortable with long periods of brooding silence; letting minutes pass without dialogue or plot development. It is also a film that burns with a passionate anger, an anger at those who do not play by the rules and are truly free. It never fails to in still in me that same longing for freedom, that sadness and above all that anger at those who are unwilling to let others be.
An accidental masterpiece? Its clunkier flaws are transcended by the pervasive unease. Billy's irascibility and paranoia prevent us from being seduced by Cap America's serenity in the early scenes. There is an elegiac feel even as it supposedly portrays the counterculture of the "now", the difficulty of achieving freedom conveyed as powerfully by the bad trip as it is by the explicit violence of the conservatives.
Possibly the quintessential stoner film, get some weed prepared to smoke before you start this. It's a mostly chill ride through 60s counter culture with a groovy soundtrack but watch out for the strokes of brutality that might harsh your vibe. Funky editing as well.
GODDAMMIT this holds up well. Hopper gets carried away here and there with his rapidly cross-cut ring transitions, but it is not enough to detract from the great performances from himself, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson, and the wonderful mix of the open road being cruised along with suitable soundtrack accompaniment.
'Head out on the highway...' road trip and head trip 1969 style. Curiously engaging episodic narrative with Jack Nicholson a bonus. Uneven soundtrack defines the time and mood and is annoyingly impossible to purchase - beware of many cover versions. Despite some quirky flickering, camera work conveys a sense of space. Brutal ending resonates to the present day and leaves us bereft. Peace, man ...
A beautiful picture that echoes the great Kerouac novels in depicting life on the road as exhilarating, joyous, cosmic, but also tinged with melancholy, confusion and regret. The film frequently alludes to the impossibility of sustaining true freedom within the confines of modern society, but remains unconvinced that the pursuit of such freedom is completely futile. 'Tune in, freak out, get beaten'.